Harare street killer ‘acted in self-defence’: Lawyers

A man who shot dead a parking tout in central Harare last week says he acted in self-defence after a mob chased him and set his car on fire, reports said.

The Twenty-four-year-old Lloyd Boniface Kobekile, who appeared in court on Friday, has been charged with murder after the shooting in broad daylight on Wednesday

Eyewitness reports on the day said that Kobekile had refused to pay touts who demanded money when he parked his car in a busy shopping street in the Zimbabwean capital. He insisted he would only pay a licensed car park attendant from the city council.

The victim was not named in court, but his family has identified him as Gresham Mwakapira, 40.

A fracas ensued – and Kobekile shot the tout in the head at point-blank range. Police said at the time that the car was set on fire afterwards.

News of the killing spread like wildlife in an already-tense Harare, where shoppers have been queuing for hours at stores and petrol stations fearing a currency crisis. There was even speculation the killing had a political link, since Kobekile was widely said to have been wearing a scarf in the Zimbabwe colours that is now closely linked to the ruling party.

Online agency Zimeye said state prosecutors alleged in court on Friday that the driver had been chased by a mob of touts after they broke the window of his car and set fire to it.

Kobekile’s lawyer Oliver Marwa now wants the murder charge changed to culpable homicide.

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